June 6, 2023
The Chinese at the container with lunar soil, December 2020

The Chinese at the container with lunar soil, December 2020


Russia and China exchanged samples of lunar soil, obtained during the landing missions “Luna-16” and “Chang’e-5”. This was stated at the Space Research Institute (IKI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Countries gave each other 1.5 grams of lunar soil samples.

The Russian sample was obtained back in the seventies of the last century, when the Soviet automatic space station landed in the Sea of ​​​​Plenty on the visible side of the Earth’s satellite. Then managed to deliver 101 g of lunar soil to earth scientists. Thanks to this, they were able to calculate the age of the moon (4.5 billion years).

The Chinese automatic expedition “Chang’e-5” delivered soil samples to the ground in December 2020. They were taken from a completely different place – in the Ocean of Storms, this is also on the visible side, but the rocks there are of much later formation. This time managed to deliver more than one and a half kilograms of soil for scientific research.

Russian scientists are going to pay special attention to the presence of inclusions of volatile substances in soil samples. It is planned that the researchers of the two countries will exchange information.

At the vacuum chamber with lunar soil delivered by the Soviet automatic station "Luna-24", 1976  Photo: Oleg Kuzmin/TASS newsreel

At the vacuum chamber with lunar soil delivered by the Soviet automatic station “Luna-24”, 1976. Photo: Oleg Kuzmin/TASS newsreel

In addition, on April 24, during the celebration of Chinese Cosmonautics Day in Hefei Sergey Krikalev, Executive Director for Manned Space Programs of Roscosmos said: “In the future, we plan to create together first automatic means and, maybe, jointly use deep space and the Moon, and at the next stage, probably, in a manned program too.”

Indeed, Russia and China are planning to jointly create a lunar station – its construction should be completed by 2035. From 2023 to 2030, technologies for landing, delivery of goods and return to earth lunar soil. Scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences are already working on manned expeditions and the permanent stay of cosmonauts and taikonauts on the surface of the moon.

“We are ready to work together with the international community to explore the mysteries of the Universe, protect the Earth, improve the well-being of people and serve the progress of human civilization,” commented the international cooperation Lu Bo, Deputy Director of Systems Engineering Department, China National Space Administration.



Details have been revealed the Tianwen-3 mission, during which it is planned to collect samples from Mars and delivering them to Earth. The program assumes a two-launch scheme with the help of heavy Long March-5 rockets (carrying capacity – 25 tons per orbit). Two separate spacecraft will launch to the Red Planet around 2030 with the goal of collecting and returning 500 grams of samples.

Unlike the Chinese Mars rover “Zhuzhong”, the Tianwen-3 landing segment will have limited sampling capabilities near the landing site. It is supposed to use either a six-legged crawling robot, or a helicopter, like the American Ingenuity. After collection, all samples will be sent to Mars orbit using a two-stage return vehicle, which will launch back to Earth.

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